Immigration impact of the Coronavirus as of 04/23/20

By James T. Daly


USCIS: Closed until May 4th
EOIR: May 15th, non-detained
US embassies and visa applications

  • Routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates are temporarily suspended.
  • This does not affect the Visa Waiver Program but still subject to travel ban.
  • Applicants with an urgent matter and need to travel immediately should follow the guidance provided at the Embassy’s website to request an emergency appointment. Examples of an urgent matter include air and sea crew, and medical personnel, particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

Travel ban

  • China, Iran.
  • European Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
  • UK, Ireland.

Most common exceptions to the travel ban:

  • Lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • Parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21.

Interesting exception to the travel ban

  • An alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the CDC Director, or his designee.

US-Mexico and US-Canada travel

  • Through May 20th, temporarily allows entry to the United States through land ports of entry along the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders for “essential travel” only.

Most common types of essential travel include:

  1. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States;
  2. Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States);
  3. Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada in furtherance of such work);

US Citizens returning from travel abroad

  • U.S. Citizens Returning from Europe

U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents will be permitted to return from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the European Schengen area. The Department of Homeland Security has issued instructions requiring U.S. passengers that have been in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Schengen area to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.

  • U.S. Citizens Returning from China

Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in China in the previous 14 days may be subject to up to 14 days of quarantine.

Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia


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